Dr. Deborah A. McFarland, Professor, Emory University, Houghton College

Dr. Deborah A. McFarland is a professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. She holds a visiting appointment in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and St Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya.

Dr McFarland is an Open Society Foundation international scholar (2011-2015) for public health supporting new scholars and academics in the Caucasus, eastern and central Europe. Her specialty is international health care financing and health policy. Dr. McFarland has been involved in health policy and health financing issues for the past 30 years with particular interest in the interface of disease control programs and health systems strengthening, and the ethics and economics of resource allocation for public health priorities, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, where she has lived or worked in more than 25 countries. She is one of the co-founders of the African Religious Health Assets Programme (ARHAP) based at UCT in Cape Town, South Africa. She is currently a member of the WHO technical consultative committee for the Africa Programme on Onchocerciasis Control (APOC), the WHO/UNICEF Tropical Disease Research Special Advisory Committee, the Mectizan/Albendazole Expert Committee for neglected tropical diseases and the WHO Scientific Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Dr. McFarland served in the Peace Corps in Liberia, worked as a health services specialist for the United Mine Workers Health and Retirement Funds in central Appalachia and the director of a network of primary care clinics in the same region before deciding to pursue an academic career. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in health policy and finance and worked with the National Governors Association on Capitol Hill. At the RSPH Dr McFarland is the director of the Foege Fellowship program, the Global Field Experience Program and the Peace Corps Masters International Program in addition to her teaching and research activities.

She is a recipient of the Emory University Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s highest teaching award, Professor of the Year award in the RSPH and also the Thomas Sellers award given to the faculty member who exemplifies the ideals of public health. Dr. McFarland holds a PhD in strategic management and industrial organization economics, an MSc in economics, an MPH in health policy and a BA in philosophy. Dr. McFarland resides in Atlanta, GA.


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